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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Benefit Restriction Bandwaggon

Cowardly Clegg was seen yesterday running down to road in the wake of the latest shabby bandwagon bleating that he, too, supported the capping of benefits for EU immigrants.

He is deep into his own dilemma: a former full-time eurorat, he has always declared himself strongly in favour of the UK remaining in the EU. He must be aware that the dominant power in the Union, Germany, will never agree to dilute the principle of free movement of labour. So he knows that he is supporting a plea for the  impossible in his latest desperate search for a popular cause.

 IF Cameron wins the coming election - which looks unlikely - the continentals' refusal to accept any serious dilution of the principle of free migration within the EU will be a strong element in the disagreement that will underlie the promised referendum on Britain's continuing membership.

The deeper question remains unasked. Recent EU immigrants are well over 80% economically active, contributing vigorously to the UK economy. It is reported that fewer than 40% of the adult population [under age 65] of Bengali origin are economically active: does Clegg intend that the 60% who have made no overt contribution to the economy should also be denied benefits? If not, why not?

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